The University of Colorado’s club field hockey team gives students the opportunity to play the fast-paced sport on solid ground. Played similar to its cousin on ice, field hockey is an up-and-coming sport at CU, with female athletes comprising a majority of its participants.
The team is made up of all women, plus one man. Their season is relatively short, as the teams from surrounding colleges like Colorado State University and the University of Denver have been dissolved. This means that the CU team plays in adult leagues in Boulder and the surrounding cities. In addition to these games, the team will be traveling to Maryland in October to play in a national tournament.
The team’s expectations are high, and they’re expected to do well this year. Midfielder Eliza Davis, who is an officer for the club, commented on the rigor the team goes through in order to keep the team at their best.
“We practice a lot,” Davis said. “We do conditioning and weight lifting, and it definitely takes a lot of energy and attitude from the players in order to keep us working hard and playing tough.”
Field Hockey is the lesser-known cousin of the other type of hockey at CU: ice hockey. On ice, players use skates to move around and often take the sport quite physically. Field hockey is a little slower and much less physical. But make no mistake; this team is in it to win it.
The game plays not unlike its icy cousin. Players try and shoot a ball into a box-shaped net, which is guarded by a goalkeeper who is covered from head to toe in padding. The sticks have the familiar shape of those used on ice, but with a stubbier end. Players wear shin guards to help keep their legs protected and mouth guards to protect their teeth.
The field hockey team is small, but that doesn’t stop them from adding new members. Freshman forward Elizabeth Dewey spoke about why she joined the team so early into her college career.
“I played all four years of high school, so I just wanted to stick with it,” Dewey said. “I have a friend that is a sophomore, who is also playing, so we wanted to do it together.”
There is something to be said about a team that sticks together. CU could have followed in the footsteps of CSU and Denver and gotten rid of the team, but they’ve stuck it out, finding a way to keep on playing the sport they love. With their limited match play, it’s important for the team to stay positive and have fun.
For many of the women on the team, field hockey is their escape from the hustle and bustle of school. With practices four times a week, the team is a close-knit group. That’s what has kept senior defender Maddy Sirianni involved for all four years of her college career.
“I just love it,” Sirianni said. “Ever since I started playing as a freshman in high school, that’s where I found all of my best friends. Then I came here, didn’t like the party scene, and decided to try out for the sport that I love.”
With the expectations for this season looming large, the CU field hockey team looks to start their season with a win. Their first game is Oct. 6 at 3 p.m. MST at Kittredge Field.
Contact CU Independent Sports Staff Writer Jason Marks at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Jason_Marks42.